Reggie Fils-Aime on Revolution, DS, Mario 128, online, more
Nintendo's charismatic salesman speaks candidly about Revolution, the "assumption" of a 2006 launch date, the future of Nintendo DS, Mario 128, missing the boat on online gaming and making Nintendo products more inclusive.
Revolution will have a major, albeit non-interactive presence at E3 and will launch with a major franchise game as well as help launch new franchises, the 2006 launch being mooted worldwide is an assumption, the DS hardware is capable of more than we've seen so far, Nintendo made a mistake not supporting online with GameCube, and Nintendo needs to support both casual and hardcore gamers equally.
While Satoru Iwata's keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference, in which he spoke of Revolution and Nintendo DS's shared wireless online gaming potential, has caused much excitement amongst fans and commentators, the above sentiments are those of Nintendo's executive vice president of sales and marketing Reggie Fils-Aime, who gave a number of typically bullish interviews to the US press prior to Iwata taking the stage.
Probably the most detailed of these interviews, on US gaming website 1UP.com, featured a number of revelations about Revolution, Nintendo's next-generation console which will be unveiled at E3 in two months' time.
"Revolution will have a major presence in our presentations, but it will not be accessible on the show floor. It's too early," he told 1UP. "When we launch Revolution, we will have great franchise games: Mario, Zelda, Metroid. We will also launch new franchises," he said.
However, while Fils-Aime was happy to comment on Microsoft's apparent desire to launch Xbox 2 this year ("the entire world knows that they are on a different development path than either we or Sony are on"), he wasn't prepared to validate the 2006 launch date that most are associating with Revolution. "You've made an assumption," he told 1UP in answer to a question about launching a year after Microsoft.
He was also restrained about Mario 128, Shigeru Miyamoto's next Mario game, which Nintendo has barely spoken about in a number of months and which allegedly skipped E3 a while ago because the company was worried about having its ideas stolen by competitors. Asked simply whether Mario 128 would appear on GameCube or Revolution, Fils-Aime declared, "We're going to answer that question at E3," indicating that a video showing was likely.
He also spoke about the Nintendo DS, which launches in Europe today, claiming that 2.5 million sales were "in the bank", and describing software sales on Super Mario 64 DS as "Pretty damn strong" with Wario Ware sales "exceptionally strong, three weeks into the mission" - a reference to its recent release in the USA. Naturally he promised more revelations at E3, and hinted that the hardware has more to offer than we've perhaps seen just yet. "Any time a new piece of hardware comes out, it takes a while for developers to realise its full potential. Look at Resident Evil 4," he told 1UP.
Fils-Aime was reticent about the subject of online gaming, which Iwata later spoke about, but admitted with great candour, "The whole Internet gaming piece, we missed the boat on GameCube. We won't miss the boat in the future."
He also spoke of his view that Nintendo needs to be "an 'And' company". "What I mean by that is that either or. Right. It's not core gamer or casual. It's not first-party or third-party. It's an 'and' company. We need to do both."
The full interview can be found here.